Monday, October 27, 2014

Our Favorite Little Patch


In the 4 years we have been doing this whole pumpkin patch gig, we have always felt the need to go to two patches, to double our fun? Who knows…the combinations are usually different, but one patch has remained consistent.  There is a smaller patch a few miles down the road, it has a little bit of everything that you look for in a patch: hayride, farmer’s market, animals, corn maze, candy apples etc. but the one thing it doesn’t have is the crowds! It is the perfect little patch and we have been every year, with the exception of 2012.  You can read about our first visit here and our trip last year here.

Look how scary this is…


The first picture is with me and Victoria in 2011 and the second is the one with me and Amelia this year.  Apparently I have a standard pumpkin patch outfit and so do my children…so weird!

And while we are comparing, check out Victoria on the pumpkin haystacks, my favorite part about this farm!


As you can see, she has gotten a lot braver in a year, standing on the haystack like she is Queen of the Pumpkins.


One more…


Victoria’s 1st Halloween  and Amelia’s 1st Halloween at our favorite little patch!


We went to this patch the day before Amelia’s baptism, so we had family in town to share in this experience.  My mom, dad, stepdad, brother and his girlfriend all made it out to the patch.  It is a good this Grandpa drives a Traverse!









We had a great morning at our favorite little patch!!

The Circus is Coming to Town!

The last time we took Victoria to the Ringling Brother and Barnum & Bailey Circus was in the fall of 2012, she was almost 2 years old at the time.  My friend Amber invited us to FRONT ROW tickets and we all had a great time!  This was the first time Victoria had seen the circus and loved every minute of it.  We arrived early for the preshow where we had our pictures taken with the clowns and she was even able to try on some of the performers costumes.  It was great to be up close and interact with the performers before the show, but that was the the beginning of the fun…her eyes were glued to the stage the minute the show started, she loved it all!
So we were really excited to hear that the circus is coming back to town!!  That’s right, the clowns, animals, dare devils, and more will all be here in Pittsburgh from Nov. 5-9th!!!
Consol Energy Center, Nov. 5-9 Built To Amaze! opens with the All-Access Pre-show where everyone is invited to join the fun and meet the Built To Amaze! international cast of performers as they prepare for the show. The Ringling Bros. Ringling Girls and Barnum B-Boys encourage kids to participate in a tug-of- war and kick off what will soon become an insane battle of girl power versus boy power in Built To Amaze! Audiences also can pick up some hip dance moves during the dance party, try on custom designed costumes, learn circus skills like juggling from the famous Ringling Bros. Clown Alley and even have the opportunity to witness and win a one of a kind masterpiece created by Asia, Ringling Bros. very own painting pachyderm!
Circus Details: 
CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA
November 5 - November 9, 2014
Show Dates: Show Time:
Wed, Nov 5 7:00PM
Thu, Nov 6 7:00PM
Fri, Nov 7 7:00PM
Sat, Nov 8 11:00AM , 3:00PM , 7:00PM
Sun, Nov 9 1:00PM , 5:00PM

There are many ways to save $$ on circus tickets!
* My followers can SAVE $5 off on Select Seats with promo code: USFAM @usfg

* Opening Night tickets start at $15!
* Save 50% on kids tickets with coupon available at participating Chick-fil-A of Pittsburgh locations.   Ticket Purchase Info:, 1-800-745-3000, or by visiting the Dick's Sporting Goods Box
Office at CONSOL Energy Center.

Amelia’s Baptism

At almost 9 months, we decided it was time to have Amelia baptized into the Catholic Church.  Both Greg and I have been raised in the Catholic community, we were married in the Catholic Church and made a commitment to raise our children in the same faith. 





We had Victoria baptized in Rochester, NY at three months old so that her great grandma (her namesake) could be a part of the ceremony.  This time we decided to stay here in Pittsburgh and have Amelia baptized at the church we belong to, almost right across the street.  We had chosen godparents long before we chose an actual date for the baptism.  My good friend Emily (we were in each other’s weddings) was the perfect choice for godmother for our sweet Amelia.  Her strong role in the Catholic faith kept her praying for our miracle baby before she ever actually existed.  Our family is so lucky to have her and her family in our life, they have been there through all the ups and downs in life and praying for us the entire time.  We chose Greg’s brother, Dave as the godfather.  He is so good with our girls and just an awesome daddy to his own kiddos, we knew Amelia would be in good hands with Uncle Dave.

Amelia was baptized on Sunday, October 5th in a beautiful ceremony after Sunday mass.  There were two other babies also being baptized at the same time, but the priest did such an excellent job of making each family feel special.  The priest was also very inviting to the children in attendance, asking them questions and encouraging them to come closer for a better view, it was really sweet.



Amelia was the oldest baby of the bunch (shocker…thanks to her procrastinator parents) and when it was her turn to approach the baptismal fount she was ready to jump right in, literally!

After the ceremony, we all headed back to our house for lunch and cake to celebrate our little Amelia.  She slept through most of the celebration, because being baptized in the morning without a nap is very hard work. We were so happy that all of our immediate family could be there.  My brother came in from New Jersey, my mom, stepdad and dad from New York and Greg’s family too!   It was a special day, to celebrate our little miracle, surrounded by our family and a great friend and her family.



Monday, October 20, 2014

Jump Start Sports in Pittsburgh




This fall we decided to take a break from our 2 years in the gymnastics program that Victoria loved and try something new…SOCCER!  We tried soccer once before, but after that experience, felt that two years old, was a little too young.  I think we swore off all organized team sports until she turned five because toddlers and team sports just don’t seem to mix well, or do they?



I was given the opportunity to do a social media partnership with Jump Start Sports and we decided to rethink the idea of holding off on organized team sports.  Jump Start had a soccer program for 3 & 4 year olds called “The Hummingbird Soccer Program”.  This program was once a week from 5:30 – 6:30pm for 6 weeks.  The practices were held at Blueberry Hill Park in Franklin Park.  At the first practice, Victoria received her “uniform” a green shirt and met her coaches.  She was a little shy at first (shocking I know), but they were very friendly and she warmed up to Coach Roland and Coach Erin. 



I loved that there were two coaches and you could tell they were very experienced with young kiddos.  Every direction was fun and full of energy, the soccer drills were very relatable.  The kids would “walk their dog”, play red light/green light, park the ball in “the garage” and many other fun ways to engage the kids in soccer drills.  I also loved that there were plenty of water breaks, which was perfect for short attention spans!  After about 30 minutes of soccer drills, the kids would divide up into four teams and each coach would run a soccer game, usually with about    5 vs. 5  per game.  It took Victoria awhile to understand and become comfortable with the game part of practice. The games were the exact swarm of bees that you imagine when you hear of 3 year old playing soccer, all of them running to the ball, all at once.  There are more boys than girls, so it took her by surprised that she got knocked down a few times, but by the end of the first game, she was starting to get the hang of it.



The coaches were very good about reminding the kids which goal they were trying to score in and allowing everyone a chance to start with the ball.  There are not as many water breaks during the game portion of practice, so Victoria did become a little distracted (by her piney, airplanes or other balls on the field), but was easily redirected and it also helped that the world’s largest (at least to Victoria) sandbox was within view, because that was the BIG reward for a successful practice.

So, while she was not the perfect soccer player at every game, she did come a long way from her 2 year old soccer playing days, and the coaches’ enthusiasm and organization played a big role in her success.  If we had the opportunity and it worked with our family schedule, we would most definitely do Jump Start Sports again.  It was a great organization to be a part of and I am so glad they are in the Pittsburgh area.  They offer a variety of different sports, I would love for her to try out t-ball someday.   We were very happy with our experience with Jump Start Sports and would recommend this organization to friends and family.  Thank You Jump Start Sports for giving us this fun opportunity!!!




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